The highly anticipated return of the children’s television series, Takalani Sesame, announced its 13th season set to premiere on SABC2 (DStv channel 192).
The show took the opportunity to introduce audiences to the people behind the most loved muppets ahead of Heritage Day.
With over two decades on Mzansi screens, Takalani Sesame has become an entrenched part of family life for generations and with a new season on the horizon, it will focus on “big emotions” set to mirror the intense feelings experienced by many children throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
With the Covid-19 pandemic and the intense lockdown to curb the virus, children worldwide were abruptly stopped from going to school and from doing any outdoor activities.
“For the first time in the history of South Africa, children and parents alike were able to watch the same show in their mother tongue languages and receive the same information,” said Nyanga Tshabalala, whose character is Zikwe.
According to the production team, this season has been a special one for the actors – Damon Berry, Nozizwe Zulu and Reshoketswe Maredi, amongst others, who bring the beloved Muppets, such as Elmo, Zuzi, Kami, Moshe and Zikwe, to life.
On the new season, Takalani Sesame viewers can expect guest appearances from the likes of singer Sho Majozi, TikTok star Prev Reddy, The Goliaths, Holly [and] Mimi Ray, Farieda Metsileng and David Kau.
Lindani Nkosi – better known as Moshe – said, “The inclusion of such celebrities is a highlight – but perhaps even more memorable are the collaborations with individuals, families and societies in need.
“It’s wonderful that we’ve been able to include people with special needs, adults and children alike.”
Damon Berry, the talent who brings Elmo to life, said playing the character has been a real highlight during his 22 years as part of the show.
Hindsight on the upcoming season
He further gave hindsight on the upcoming season. “In our exciting new season, Elmo gets a big feeling when he tries to play Zuzu’s Adventure game. It’s very powerful to see Elmo deal with real big feelings like being nervous,” he said.
Though Nozizwe Zulu, who is behind Kami – the first HIV-positive Muppet – mentioned she was in her youth when Takalani Sesame was released in early 2000, and the show has significantly impacted her life.
*Compiled by Lethabo Malatsi.